Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
I have to be honest; I cannot say I love hard seasons. I often tend to acknowledge them and create a game plan, much like playing chess; I contemplate wise moves that will move me through the moment. Hard seasons come in many forms: loss of loved ones, persecution, self-inflicted from unwise choices, judgment because of sin, and even our Lord using “trials and tribulations” to conform us to the likeness of His Son.
As of late my family has had to work through some tough spiritual and emotional things. None of these situations are bad, just life; not easy, not always fair, but a reality nonetheless. The more I journey through hard/challenging seasons, the more I realize that God uses them to shape my character. This acknowledgement has forced me to take ownership of things in my life and allow the Holy Spirit to make needed tweaks in me. I am confident that God began a work in my life and I embrace His promise to complete the work He began in me. My job is to allow Him to work in my life and not hinder His process!
More and more I understand the need to “sit in the moment.” Experiences, even uncomfortable ones, are opportunities to be shaped by God’s loving hands, and become more like Jesus! Jesus learned obedience in suffering. (Hebrews 5:8) I realize now that life is always going to have challenging seasons, whether I brought them upon myself or I am facing persecution, or navigating through hurt or hardship. No matter what, God can teach me obedience in my suffering and use such moments to continue His work in me. I better understand the importance of sitting in the moment. No longer do I treat challenging seasons as a chess match that I am looking to get through, but rather I embrace examination and take spiritual and/or moral inventory and seek our Lord and strive to embrace growth.
God can teach us and reveal much about our character in a myriad of ways. So, next time you are in a challenging season, for whatever reason, pause and pursue. Seek God and sit in the moment. Let the Holy Spirit guide you closer to the image of our Lord. Challenging seasons need not define us, but they can surely refine us. So, sit in the moment and let God do His work.